Resilience is on the tip of so many tongues in discussions about the finance industry and transformation. That’s probably due to how valuable an asset it can be for an individual, a team or an organisation as a whole. But how can you be resilient the right way? And is there a wrong way to do it?

These questions are all answered in Wolters-Kluwer’s newly released Compass Report in partnership with Generation CFO, Four ways Manufacturing Finance teams can survive the post-pandemic shift.

I’m going to share with you some insights from the report on how to get resilience right when performing finance transformation – and two ways that you might get it wrong.

It’ll be sure to pique your interest in what else you could learn, so be sure to read on in the research report for more valuable insights on Factory 4.0, automation and more.

So, how do you be resilient in the right way?

Let’s start with the positives, and go through some of the report’s tips on mastering resilience…

 A transformation roadmap is essential

You must go into a finance transformation with a plan in mind, as the report states:

“A roadmap is key to driving effective change, and to ensuring that your biggest barriers to creating organisational resilience are addressed as a priority.” 

Resilience is heightened when a roadmap is in place – but that’s not the only thing needed:

“Top performers recognise that a roadmap is much more than just a timetable for implementing particular technologies. It should articulate your target state.”

UKI Manufacturing Leaders data

You can see evidence from this snippet of data I took for the report that the importance of a roadmap is increasingly being recognised. Those surveyed for the Compass Report were leaders of the UK and Ireland’s Manufacturing sector.

Ring-fencing the transformation budget

“When retrenchment is necessary, it is easy to fall prey to short-termism, including putting big-ticket technological investments on hold,” says the report. 

“It is refreshing to see that on the whole, manufacturing finance departments have not fallen into this trap during the pandemic.”

“Top performers realise that if anything, now is the time to double-down on digital transformation; not to cut back on it.”

Anticipating upcoming compliance changes 

You can’t rest on your laurels when continuing a transformation journey in finance and accounting. 

“In areas such as ESG, the compliance regime is still a work in progress.”

“However, we do know that regulators, investors and customers alike will expect greater accountability and more granular information from manufacturers.”

“Despite some uncertainty, forward-thinking finance departments are already putting in place capabilities that are flexible and powerful enough to cope with whatever disclosure requirements may be along the line.” 

Building supply chain visibility

Communication is really integral to the stability of an organisation. The report discusses this by explaining the benefits of visibility: 

“Resilience demands visibility – and creating it requires the elimination of blind spots.” 

“This is why high performing finance departments are careful to ensure that internal supply chain planning processes are closely integrated with those of their suppliers.”

CCH Tagetik CFO Tech 100

The pitfalls in getting resilience right

Resilience is a really beneficial trait to master – unsurprisingly, this means its not always going to be easy.

The research report is here to help combat this, as it gives us two pitfalls, both concerned with mindset.  Avoid these two traps to help you on your transformation journey.

Regarding compliance purely as a burden

“It is easy to look at the incoming ESG reporting regime as yet another compliance issue to overcome.” 

“And certainly, at the very least, manufacturers need to ensure that their reporting solutions are robust and flexible enough to meet whatever requirements come our way.” 

“But at the same time, don’t overlook the need to build reputational resilience; which, increasingly, is going to mean demonstrating – with verifiable data to back it up – just how far you are delivering on your environmental and social responsibility promises, and how you stack up against the competition.” 

“The best performers in this area will not be those who can simply tick the right compliance boxes. Rather, they will regard ESG reporting as a framework for demonstrating how they are fulfilling their commitments.”

Fear of failure 

“Particularly with the emergence of Factory 4.0, the last decade has seen a huge acceleration in the evolution of technology and an explosion in the volume of data that we create and collate.”

This prompts some big questions:

“What data can we harness? What might this data tell us about organisational performance? How can we use this information to build greater resilience?”

“From connected production lines through to supply chains and beyond, you may already have a number of initiatives in play aimed at putting data to better use. Not all will be successful in their first iteration. This is normal. Finance leaders should not be afraid to experiment, fail fast and learn.”

Where can you learn more about this?

There you go. 5 tips, and 2 pitfalls, to keep in mind when exercising resilience in your finance transformation. 

If you found this useful, there’s a lot more from where that came from in Wolters-Kluwer’s Four ways Manufacturing Finance teams can survive the post-pandemic shift.

Just click the button below to find out more and download the report for free: